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Press Release

July 21, 2008

PTC Condemns Court Decision Overturning Super Bowl Striptease Indecency Fine


LOS ANGELES (July 21, 2008) – The Parents Television Council™ responded to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruling today that threw out the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) fine given to CBS for airing Janet Jackson’s breast during the 2004 Super Bowl, which shocked millions of unsuspecting families and children.  The PTC and its 1.3 million members led the charge to clean up the airwaves by calling on the FCC to levy a hefty fine against CBS and its affiliates for violating the federal indecency law over this so-called “wardrobe malfunction,” and the FCC rightly levied a fine.


“Once again, a three-judge panel has hijacked the will of the American people – not to mention the intent of the Congress acting on behalf of the public interest - when it comes to indecent content on the public airwaves.  While we are not surprised that the legal venue hand-picked by CBS would rule in favor of the network, the court’s opinion goes beyond judicial activism; it borders on judicial stupidity,” said Tim Winter, president of the PTC, which filed an amicus brief in the case.


“If a striptease during the Super Bowl in front of 90 million people – including millions of children – doesn’t fit the parameters of broadcast indecency, then what does?  If the Court thinks that the event wasn’t shocking enough, even though it was the single largest news story for weeks when the nation was at war, then what is shocking enough? 


“By saying that the FCC still retains its power to regulate the public airwaves, this court shows that its ruling was merely to second-guess the FCC’s decision to fine CBS.  The Third Circuit Court is wrong, and we urge the FCC to appeal this case to the U.S. Supreme Court.  We urge the public to speak up on this matter by contacting their congressional representatives and the White House too.


“In light of this decision, Congress must immediately vote on S.1780 (Protecting Children From Indecent Programming Act) to reaffirm its support for protecting the public airwaves from indecent content.  Without passage of this critical legislation, the Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act passed two years ago will be rendered essentially meaningless.”

TAKE ACTION NOW! Call your Senators and Senator Harry Reid and demand immediate action on S. 1780 (Protecting Children From Indecent Programming Act).

To speak with a representative from the Parents Television Council, please contact Kelly Oliver (ext. 140) or Megan Franko (ext. 148) at (703) 683-5004.



The Parents Television Council™ (www.parentstv.org®) is a non-partisan education organization advocating responsible entertainment. It was founded in 1995 to ensure that children are not constantly assaulted by sex, violence and profanity on television and in other media. This national grassroots organization has more than 1.3 million members across the United States, and works with television producers, broadcasters, networks and sponsors in an effort to stem the flow of harmful and negative messages targeted to children. The PTC also works with elected and appointed government officials to enforce broadcast decency standards. Most importantly, the PTC produces critical research and publications documenting the dramatic increase in sex, violence and profanity in entertainment. This information is provided free of charge so parents can make informed viewing choices for their own families.




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